Threatened Species Recovery Hub researchers presented at the recent Species on the Move International Conference in Hobart, including Hub Director Hugh Possingham.
Professor Possingham presented on the role of decision science in moving species outside their normal range in response to climate, and other, change.
“There are a whole lot of reasons why we might want to relocate an animal to somewhere it's never been, and it presents a lot of challenges.”
“Decisions about moving species are hard, but if we avoid that decision, and do nothing, extinctions will occur. Even if we lack full information we can make good decisions about moving species outside their original range in the name of conservation.”
“The species on the move conference brought together managers, researchers and policy makers from across Australasia to tackle contentious issues in conservation science and management in a rapidly changing world. There is nothing like face-to-face talks, panels and discussions to hammer out solutions to difficult problems,” said Professor Possingham.
Other TSR Hub presenters included:
The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is receiving an additional $2 million to deliver research and scientific advice to help support wildlife and habitat recovery efforts following Australia’s bushfire crisis. The rapid rollout of meetings and expert workshops that were planned as part of this response now faces the added and acute challenge of COVID-19.
Predation by cats is a key threat to at least 123 threatened species in Australia. Better understanding and reducing the impact of feral cats on susceptible wildlife has been a major area of research for the Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Hub Deputy Directors Professors Sarah Legge and John Woinarski take a look at our research to address Australia’s cat problem.
The 2019–20 bushfires have been extensive and – in some areas – of very high severity. Many threatened species have had most of their distributions burnt, and fire is likely to have imperilled many species not previously considered threatened. One of the post-fire challenges to population recovery that many native species will face is increased risk of predation, including by introduced foxes and cats.
Australia has many unique small- to medium-sized mammals, which are vulnerable to predation by cats and foxes, two carnivores introduced to the continent with European arrival. For many of these species, effective conservation means heavy or total suppression of cats and/or foxes.
Oliver Tester from the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner tells us about the Australian Government’s action on feral cats.